Insight Venture Partners has added five new venture partners to its team. They are Jason Ewell, Josh Gray, Karl Karlsson, Emmet B. Keeffe III and Thilo Semmelbauer. All will join Nick Sinai as part of Insight’s Onsite team. Ewell is a former vice president of Travelclick; Gray is a former vice president at Oracle; Karlsson is a co-founder of China Internet Ventures; Keeffe is a co-founder and CEO of iRise; and Semmelbauer is the former president and COO of Shutterstock.
September 29, 2015 – Following the close of Insight Venture Partners’ recent growth and buyout funds totaling $4.75 billion, the firm, a leading global private equity and venture capital investor, has announced the addition of five technology industry specialists who will provide expertise to portfolio companies as they scale revenue and operations. Jason Ewell, Josh Gray, Karl Karlsson, Emmet B. Keeffe III, and Thilo Semmelbauer join Nick Sinai as part of Insight Onsite, the firm’s team of value add portfolio-focused resources.
“The executives in our team of Venture Partners have decades of combined experience and bring a valuable perspective to portfolio leaders given their diverse expertise and operational backgrounds,” said Deven Parekh, Managing Director at Insight. “We are pleased to offer their expertise to the portfolio and to supplement our current value add capability.”
“We expect the new Venture Partners to have a very positive impact on our portfolio companies in their capacity as advisors, mentors, consultants and board members,” said Hilary Gosher, Managing Director and head of Insight Onsite. “We are confident they will be a tremendous asset to our portfolio, bringing with them a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, top and bottom line growth, and acquisitions.”
Jason Ewell joins Insight from Travelclick where he was Executive Vice President and a member of the executive team that led the company to a successful exit in 2014. Prior to TravelClick, Jason spent 14 years at American Express: first in corporate strategy and strategic partnerships and subsequently as a leader in the Global Commercial Card business. Jason built and led American Express’ commercial card partnerships, launched new products, and transformed the company’s commercial card lead generation, digital marketing, inside sales, and distribution partnerships. At Insight, Jason will focus on assisting companies with go-to-market strategy and operational efficiency.
Josh Gray was most recently VP, Development at Oracle, which he joined via its acquisition of BigMachines in 2013. He served as General Manager of the BigMachines Express division, which he started and grew to a multi-million dollar business. Josh has held roles in both the public and private sectors, working for the Chicago Public Schools, serving as Assistant COO for Obama for America, and consulting for the Boston Consulting Group. He also spent four years as an investor with Lehman Brothers Venture Capital Group and Svoboda Capital Partners. At Insight, Josh will focus on assisting companies on product strategy, sales & marketing execution, and operational excellence.
Karl Karlsson, based in Europe, focuses on working with Insight’s European and Asian investments, and serves as first point of senior contact with prospective portfolio companies in Europe. In 1999, Karl founded Scoop Inc., a provider of publishing and information services to business professionals. He also co-founded CIV (China Internet Ventures) which invested in 3721.com, a technology company that enabled Chinese-language users to find websites with Roman-alphabet domain names. 3721 was acquired by Yahoo China in late 2003; this was subsequently rolled into Alibaba. Karl assists companies with go-to-market strategy, operational efficiency, strategic alliance development and M&A efforts while also working with generating European deal flow for Insight, and conducting due diligence.
Emmet B. Keeffe III is based in London and is leading the build out of Insight’s Innovation Network for technology organizations and IT leaders. The network provides thought-leadership to members and establishes Growth Advisory Boards for portfolio companies. Prior to Insight, Emmet fostered a global network of IT contacts as co-founder and CEO of iRise. He is a Resident Expert at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and serves on the Advisory Boards of DocuSign, UST Global and The Digital Board.
Thilo Semmelbauer has been involved in technology ventures for over 25 years, most recently as President and COO of former Insight portfolio company, Shutterstock Inc., (NYSE: SSTK), a global marketplace for licensing images, videos, and music to businesses worldwide. Under Thilo’s leadership, revenue grew from $60 million to over $300 million, and the business expanded into new areas, including video, music, and premium imagery. Shutterstock completed a successful IPO in October 2012, and subsequently delivered eight consecutive beat-and-raise quarters as a public company. Thilo’s work with portfolio companies will focus on building scalable organizations in Internet, subscription and marketplace businesses.
The five new Venture Partners join Nick Sinai who became the first Venture Partner in 2014. Nick was most recently U.S. Deputy CTO in the Obama Administration, where he led the President’s initiative to harness the power of data and innovation to transform government and grow the economy. Among other things, Nick works with portfolio companies on policy, regulatory, and government markets.
About Insight Venture Partners
Insight Venture Partners is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 1995, Insight has raised more than $13 billion and invested in more than 250 companies worldwide. Our mission is to find, fund and work successfully with visionary executives providing them with practical, hands-on growth expertise to foster long-term success. For more information on Insight and all of its investments, visit http://www.insightpartners.com or follow us on twitter: @insightpartners.com.
(Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated that all five hires will be part of Nick Sinai’s Insight Onsite team. That is incorrect. All of the five hires will be joining Nick Sinai as part of Insight’s Onsite team. The change has been made and is reflected in the current version.)